Thursday, January 10, 2008


When television came to prominence in the late 40’s and early 50’s there was a heady feeling in the air that they were doing something that was entirely new and wonderful:

Pictures and sound together! Live! How wonderful.
Wait, how are we going to make this work?
Aw crap.

What many of the pioneers of early television ended up doing was sucking the marrow out of, errr… emulating, , older forms of entertainment that worked - theater, vaudeville, concerts, and yes radio programs. Your Show of Shows, Playhouse 90 and The Lawrence Welk Show followed the safe and narrow as Television found its legs.

It was after awhile when innovators like Ernie Kovacs and others (who you can see on the PBS program Pioneers of Television) were able to grab hold of the medium that it began to grow muscles and strengthen its character into something distinctive. It was only after they figured out how to pay for television via commercials that it became a truly separate means of telling stories.

It’s with that in mind that I recount my experience yesterday at the WGA Theater attending the first ever Strike TV meeting. I warn the dear reader now that this is going to be something of a bipolar series of posts as there were many things to applaud about this first effort by the WGA to lay the tracks for the internet revolution to arrive (thank you Mr. Deitchman for the metaphor), as well as shake your head at the directions the tracks seem to be heading -- straight into “Indian Territory.” (more on that in my follow up posts).

To start things off here is Ian Deitchman on the history and philosophy of Strike TV. Ian is the video coordinator for United Hollywood and a screenwriter.

More in following posts....

No comments: